Next week, on October 31st, designers Daneh Buahmad (Daneh), Karine Tawil (Karoline Lang), Mira Hayek, Ayah Tabari (Mochi), and Reem Al Banna (Reemami) will compete in the ready-to-wear category. One designer will be selected to take home a collective grant valued at US $250,000; receive mentorship; the opportunity to produce the winning collections for sale on Farfetch.com; retail distribution at Browns Fashion (UK), Curve boutique (USA), and Al Ostoura (Kuwait); media coverage; and an advertising campaign.
The Fashion Prize judging panel consists of 11 industry experts from both the regional and international fashion community, and includes Dubai Design & Fashion Council (DDFC) CEO Nez Gebreel; Vogue Arabia CEO and Publisher Shashi Menon; Vogue Arabia Features Director Caterina Minthe; Farfetch Chief Marketing Officer Stephanie Horton; Farfetch Executive Editor-at-Large Anya Ziourova; Chalhoub Group Joint CEO Patrick Chalhoub; Browns CEO Holli Rogers; Curve Boutique Founder Nevena Borissova; Al Ostoura Creative Director Ramzi Tabiat; and designers Zuhair Murad and Roland Mouret.
“This year I relocated to the UAE [from KSA] and was determined to make the experience different by embarking on mini voyages. It was not until a recent trip to Oman that I realized that I had visited all of the GCC. Yes, I have spent most of my life in this region. I am from this region and I am Arab, but I am very much Khaleejiya. My heritage may not be very obvious in my designs, but there are always hints. In this collection it is more apparent. As I focus on the similarities and differences within the Gulf, I realize that I am more inclined to men’s clothing. Notably, the basic whites and subtle differences in style that differ from country to country such as the added features, touches of colors, and the variances under and over the garments. Simple is glamorous. This newfound perspective is my inspiration for this collection.”
“The key to my inspiration is always femininity. Regardless of who my current muse may be, my collections always trace back to a feminine aspect and this one is no different. Although 80% of my fabrics come from menswear, I make sure that the clothes are always sculpted and made for the everyday powerful woman through intricate details. I want each woman who wears my clothes to feel the same empowerment that a man does when he wears a suit—because a tailored shirt can help a woman conquer the universe. In this collection, I continue to investigate bold architectural lines that shape the body, and cuts that mark a strong silhouette yet enhance the waist. I am inspired by the combination of colors and shades that the contemporary woman can wear to help her face the world with strength, grace, and elegance.”
“A morning dawned bright and sweet, like ribbon candy. Rounded, soft volumes coupled with vivid colors sweep you to an imaginary playground. La Femme Bonbon (candy woman)—the muse behind this collection—is coquette and mischievous. Recognized for her unique sense of style and graceful strength, she is curious, embraces the new, the delicious, and the colorful. My Spring 2017 collection is youthful and energetic. It features contemporary and graphic pieces with a color palette ranging from pastel tones to bright, fruity hues. Curvy silhouettes, psychedelic confetti, and cascading ruffles are featured in this collection for the playful woman who enjoys an adventurous escapade in her gourmet candy house.”
“The Mochi woman is always my muse. She is strong, independent, and motivated. For my Spring 2017 collection, I drew inspiration from Morocco—with its vibrant markets and traditional embroidery communities that surround the city center. The nomadic Moroccans and Berber tribes are known for their pile, knotted, and woven carpets, as well as threads that are used to create traditional woven and tasseled embroideries. I had the best time in Morocco, watching how artisans make these beautiful pieces, as well as trying out the techniques myself. This collection features effortless and vivacious silhouettes that are enhanced by a play on textures, patterns, and the Berber tapestries from local artisans.”
Reem Al Banna
“Pushing the limit and reaching higher summits is what Spring 2017 is all about. I wanted to take the Reemami woman through a whimsical world that’s mixed with cool and exciting twists. I translated this through convertible pieces that can be transformed in many ways; fresh cuts; and looks that are easy to style. Details include strings that can be tied together or left open, and knots that are placed in unexpected areas. Our silhouettes are lighter and effortless. I’ve chosen light-weight fabrics for summer and let the shapes fall, and in some cases kept Reemami’s signature cuts. Introducing denim was an incredible experience. Stone washing, cutting, and buttoning was something I thoroughly enjoyed. We designed two-tone pants that are adorned with metal eyelets, and a convertible jacket, which can be transformed and worn up to 20 different ways. Reemami’s signature illustrations are also present through mountains, stars, and climbers via printed fabrics and embroidery.”